Bwin has officially joined the list of recognized online poker operators, allowed to accept players from Belgium. Belgian gambling laws require that any and all internet gambling operators wishing to conduct legal business in the country team up with a licensed land-based casino first.
Bwin accomplished this by partnering with Casino Kursaal, an establishment in the seaside city of Oostende. The casino is owned by Belcasinos, whose parent company is the French group Partouche.
Those online poker sites in Belgium that recruit players without such a licensee find themselves blacklisted by the regulator. Players betting on such sites face serious fines, while the country’s major ISPs are also blocking access to them.
Added to the list in May 2012, Bwin has since tried hard to get on the regulator’s good side. Its efforts were finally rewarded when the company was placed on the whitelist of A+ (i.e. online casino) license holders this week.
This means that Belgian players can soon register on the country’s Bwin website and play not only with their compatriots, but with other Bwin players across the world. By being allowed to finally take this step, Bwin joins other online poker sites in Belgium like PokerStars, Poker770 and Win2day in reaching customers in the country.